Take a Picture

By Bonnie Wonders–Trent

I have been grooming dogs for 31 years now. I have often wondered just how many toenails I’ve clipped (not counting my own, of course), how many anal glands I’ve squeezed, how many Poodle feet I have shaved… The list goes on and on.

However, I think I’ve seen enough pictures of customers’ dogs, their kids’ dogs, and their neighbors’ dogs to last me an eternity. In fact when ANYONE finds out what I do, that flashing sign on my forehead lights up. “Show me your dog,” it apparently reads in neon. It seems I can’t go anywhere without somebody whipping out a picture of a dog on their iPhone.

Now, not to make fun of the elderly generation of which I am fast approaching myself. It’s all I can do sometimes to not either crack up or just grab the phone out of their hand when they are trying to figure out just how to retrieve that precious picture of their pup. They’re scrolling all over the place and finding every other piece of information those phones hold.

Case in point. One day I was minding my own business as I was trying to get in line at the bank. Within a couple minutes, a lady quite a few years older than me appeared in line behind me. “Busy place today,” the woman remarked to me. “Yes it is. I guess because it’s after the long weekend,” I commented. “I just came in to deposit some checks,” she explained. Not that her comment was too surprising, seeing as how we were in a bank, after all. I nodded though. “Me too,” I added to be courteous in responding somehow. “Do you have a job?” the woman asked. “Uh, yes,” I said. “How nice for you! What do you do?” she asked as if she were surprised that I would/could work. I briefly wondered if I looked too rough or old to be working. “I’m a dog groomer,” I said anyhow.

Let the floodgates open! Her eyes became as big as the proverbial “saucers” as if the guy in line behind her had pinched her butt. “How WONDERFUL!!” she exclaimed. “Oh, I love dogs!” she squealed. “I’ll bet you do too,” she said excitedly. “Well, I think you really do have to love them to stay working with them for as long as I have,” I agreed. “Oh, let me get my telephone out and show you some pictures of my Buffy,” the lady said as she started digging into her purse. After a minute or so, she produced her phone. “I think I have it turned on,” she said, pulling her glasses down off her head. “OK. Yes, there we go,” she said triumphantly.

“Here it is,” she said. “Oh, that’s not it. Those are my coupons that I downsaved,” she said apologetically. “Downloaded,” I offered. “What?” she said still pecking at her phone. “I think you mean downloaded. Not downsaved,” I said quietly. “Or maybe it’s uploaded,” I said, rethinking my cell phone vocabulary. “Here it is,” the lady said proudly, handing me her phone. The photo had been taken from so far away that what I assumed to be her dog looked about the size of a pistachio. “Uh, huh. Very cute,” I said, handing her back her phone. I really had no idea of what I had supposedly looked at.

“Next person in line,” the teller was saying. “I guess that’s me,” I said to the lady. “Oh, look! Here’s one of her on the couch covered up with a blanket.” I looked briefly at the phone. “I don’t think that’s a dog,” I told the lady as I squinted at the screen. “Uh, no I think that one’s my husband foot,” she said, looking totally confused. “Do you know how to work this thing?” she asked, trying to hand me back her phone. By this time, I had moved forward to the teller who had motioned for me, and the phone woman had come right along with me. “Ma’am, I still use a Trac phone. You’re way beyond my capabilities,” I told her.

“Hi, can I help you?” the teller asked as I stood at her window. “Yes, I’d like to deposit these,” I told her, sliding my bank stuff across the counter to her. “She’s a dog groomer, you know,” the woman informed the teller as if I worked for the CIA or something. “She said she just loves playing with the puppies,” she added. I looked at the teller smiling as I raised my eyebrows. “Are you two together?” the teller asked, smiling back at us. “No, we just kind of met in line,” I informed her. “Oh, here are some better pictures of my Buffy. Would you like to see them too?” the woman asked, offering her phone to the teller. “Yes, she’s pretty,” the teller said, glancing down at the phone, though not taking it from the lady. “Perhaps you should get back in line until I take care of Mrs. Trent’s business,” she said as gently as she could. “Next person in line,” I suddenly heard another teller announce. “I think that would be you,” I said, smiling at the woman as I pointed to the other open teller. “Oh yes it would,” the woman said. “I’ll see if I can find more pictures to show you when we’re done here,” she said. “Uhmmm,” I said nodding. As luck would have it, my teller was finished with my deposit and was handing me my receipt. “Thank-you!” I said quietly as I ducked backward and fled down the aisle to the door to make my escape.

Just in case you’re curious though, did I ever show you a picture of my dog???

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